Fox cooking show “Kitchen Nightmares” received unprecedented viewership after the Amy’s Baking Company episode in May 2013. The episode was such a hit that Season 6 of “KN” premiered with an update on Amy's Baking Company.
Even though viewers generally love to see Chef Gordon Ramsay yell at owners, like on “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Master Chef,” the ABC episode didn’t feature any of the Scottish chef’s signature shouting. Instead, people were drawn to the insanity displayed by ABC owners Samy and Amy Bouzaglo, “KN” producer Kent Weed told Yahoo.
Weed explained that the drama displayed in “Kitchen Nightmares” isn’t manufactured. He said the entertainment value comes from the challenges people face with running their restaurants.
"It's the nature of the show," Weed said. "We follow the action as it happens; we never know what's going to happen next. And that was a case in point. We had no idea that she [Amy] was going to start choking."
Weed said Ramsay’s role on the show is to essentially hold up a mirror to the owners’ faces and give them "a wake-up call, a dose of reality, if you will."
Viewers were generally outraged when they saw the way the Bouzaglos acted on the show. The Bouzaglos refused to believe anything was wrong with their food, had screaming matches with customers and even fired an employee -- who apparently didn't do anything wrong -- right in front of Ramsay
"We don't produce the things that happen; we cover them as they happen," Weed said. "People are resistant to change," which sometimes results in bad habits. "And they do become blind to it and get caught in self-denial about it."
This applies to ABC, whose owners have said they were edited by “KN” producers to look like cartoon characters. At first they said they were being sabotaged by Yelp reviewers, which is the main reason the celebrity chef visited the Scottsdale, Ariz., shop, but he soon found out that the owners were incapable of taking criticism and that they lashed out at seemingly everyone who didn't see things their way.
"They would completely say in one sentence, 'We need your help,' and in the next sentence, 'Everything's fine.' You just … you can't help people that can't help themselves."
It wasn’t long before Ramsay realized he wouldn’t be able to make a difference and told producers he would have to leave ABC prematurely. "Gordon came to us and said, 'Guys, I don't know what to do,'" Weed said. "'I've tried everything, and I just don't think they really want our help. I'll do anything, I'll bend over backwards.'"
“Kitchen Nightmares” airs on Fox every Friday at 8/7c.
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